Massachusetts – State Facts
Admission to Statehood: February 6, 1788 – 6th state
Area: 10555 sq. mi., Land 7838 sq. mi., Water 2717 sq. mi., 17th Coastline 192 mi., Shoreline 1,519 mi.
Largest Cities: Boston, Worcester, Springfield, Lowell, Cambridge, Brockton, New Bedford, Fall River, Lynn, Quincy
Highest Point: Mt. Greylock; 3491 feet
Lowest Point: Atlantic coast; sea level
Topography: Jagged indented coast around Cape Cod; flatland yields to stony upland pastures near central region and gentle hill country in west; land in west is rocky, sandy and not fertile.
Nickname: Bay State
The Black-Capped Chickadee (Penthestes atricapillus) was adopted as the official State Bird by the Massachusetts Legislature on March 21, 1941. It is also known as the titmouse, tomtit, and the dickybird, and it is one of the most familiar of the North American birds.
Flag: On a white field is a blue shield emblazoned with the image of a Native American, Massachuset. He holds a bow in one hand and an arrow in the other. The arrow is pointing downward representing peace. The white star represents Massachusetts as one of the original thirteen states. Around the shield is a blue ribbon with the motto: ” By the Sword We Seek Peace, but Peace Only Under Liberty”. Above the shield is an arm and sword, representing the first part of the motto.
The mayflower was adopted as the state flower on May 1, 1918.
Origin of state’s name: Named after local Indian tribe whose name means “a large hill place”
Song: All Hail to Massachusetts
words and music by: Arthur Marsh
Tree: American Elm
State Folk Hero: Johnny Appleseed was designated the official folk hero of the Commonwealth on August 2, 1996. Appleseed was born John Chapman and lived from 1775(?)-1845. An American pioneer and hero of folklore, his planting of apple trees from New England to the Ohio River valley earned him his more popular name.
State Beverage: Cranberry Juice was named the beverage of the Commonwealth on May 4, 1970. This was a tribute to the great Massachusetts cranberry industry, which grows the largest crop in the world.
Climate: The prevailing wind is from the west, with an average velocity of 10 to 13 miles per hour. Average monthly temperatures in Boston range from 28.2 degrees in January to 72.0 degrees in July. The lowest temperature recorded by the U.S. Weather Bureau in Gloucester since its establishment (October 1870) was -18 degrees in February 1934; the highest, 104 degrees in July 1911. The normal annual precipitation is 44.23 inches.